Even though I'm still in a rereading books phase, I read one new book last week, a book that was powerful, that made me cry, that made me feel so much, that made me an instant fan of its author. I'm talking about "The Hate List" by Jennifer Brown. I had this book on my wishlist but somehow the time never felt right to get and read it. Then I discovered the book in the online service of my local library and I requested it spontaneously, and I'm so glad that I did so.
At first I planned to just read a few pages, but then I couldn't stop with reading the book until I was finished with it. The book is YA, but not a romance. It plays in the aftermath of a shooting spree at a school, our main character was nearly killed during this horrible event, the boy who was responsible for the tragedy was her own boyfriend and he was killing people based on a hate list he and his girlfriend wrote together.
The premise sounds tragic and it is. At first you don't know exactly which role Valerie played in the whole tragedy. Jennifer Brown doesn't try to find answers about why the tragedy happened, she isn't looking for easy answers for complex questions and I appreciate that a lot. This is definitely one of the strengths of the story. Another one is Valerie, the main character. She is a character that feels alive, she had and still has to deal with so much, at times she doesn't know how to move on because she can't understand what happened in the past. Others are wondering is she is a victim and hero or an offender, at times she isn't sure about it herself.
Going with Valerie on her journey back to a normal life was gripping and very emotional, the story made me cry several times, I felt so much when reading the book and I loved every tear I shed. The ending is maybe the one thing about the book I'm not in love with, I will never be a fan of somewhat open endings, but still it worked in the context of what happened before.
Btw, I read the German translation of the book and think that it's a good one, I got another book by Jennifer Brown, "Bitter End" from my library and I'm very excited to get lost in it. And yes, I plan to buy a copy of "The Hate List" for my book shelves. And I have her book "Torn away" on my wish list. I also learned that Jennifer Brown is publishing adult books as Jennifer Scott, you can be sure that I will check them out.
So yes, this very emotional and special book is one I definitely recommend to other readers, it's a topic that young adults and adults should find interesting and the characters might also work for young and older readers. I also think that this could be a great book to read and discuss in school.
I'm right now rereading "Whiskey Beach" by Nora Roberts, in the last days I reread several other romantic suspense books by her, but after finishing the current one I will go back to reading new books from my latest reading pile, there are four books of it left and I plan to read them all in the next days. Because I'm very excited about all of the books and I'm also super excited for the next reading pile that's already waiting for me.